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Things to do in Italy

Things to do in  Italy

Welcome to Italy

Well-known for its boot shape, Italy boasts a staggering number of renowned pieces of art, an abundance of UNESCO World Heritage sites, and welcomes visitors with a warm, friendly atmosphere. Let a private or small-group tour with an expert guide show you how to walk in Caesar's footsteps through the Forum in Rome. Take a gondola tour of Venice to glide by the city's classic architecture. Stare in awe at the colorful frescoes in the Vatican Museums’ Sistine Chapel one day, and hike the Path of the Gods along the Amalfi Coast on another. Italy is an art lover's paradise, where masterpieces by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Raphael await. Learn about the birthplace of the Renaissance in Florence, and admire the Botticellis in the Uffizi Gallery. Then switch gears to explore hilltop villages in remote parts of Tuscany, or browse for the latest fashions in Milan. Foodies flock to Italy to taste pizza in its hometown of Naples. You can also take a cooking class to learn the secrets of Italian cuisine, like gnocchi and tiramisu in Sorrento, or risotto with prawns in Venice. And then there's the wine—book a wine tour to the Frascati region of Rome for reds and dessert wines, or head to Florence for Chianti. Meanwhile, other tours let you take in a Venetian concert or drift in a boat on Lake Como.

Top 15 attractions in Italy

#1
Colosseum

Colosseum

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The Colosseum has been a symbol of Rome since 80 AD, and today it’s a top monument in Italy. Some 50,000 spectators once gathered in the amphitheater’s tiered seats to watch gladiatorial games, and though parts of its original marble facade were pilfered over the years to build the likes of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum remains remarkably intact 2,000 years later.More
#2
Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia)

Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell'Accademia)

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Once one of Europe’s oldest drawing schools, Florence’s Accademia Gallery (Galleria dell’Accademia) is now one of the city’s most visited museums, home to one of the world’s most impressive works of Renaissance art—Michelangelo’s 17-foot-tall (5.2-meter-tall) David. Other works on display include 15th- and 16th-century paintings by the likes of Botticelli and Lippi, unfinished Michelangelo sculptures, and a museum of musical instruments.More
#3
Roman Forum (Foro Romano)

Roman Forum (Foro Romano)

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A sprawling mass of ruins, the Roman Forum (Foro Romano) was once the center of ancient Rome, with temples, courts, markets, and government buildings in full swing until the 4th century AD. While all that remains today is an array of ancient columns and arches, the forum is one of the most important archaeological sites in Italy, and excavations occur to this day. Aside from a lesson in Roman history, visitors can get a great view of the Eternal City from the overlooking Palatine and Capitoline hills.More
#4
St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco)

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The crown jewel of Venice, St. Mark's Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) is an ornate cathedral which blends elements of Gothic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Renaissance architecture. Topped by soaring domes and replete with astonishing golden mosaics, the church is so opulent it is known as the Chiesa d’Oro, or the Golden Church.More
#5
Uffizi Galleries (Gallerie degli Uffizi)

Uffizi Galleries (Gallerie degli Uffizi)

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The Uffizi Galleries (Gallerie degli Uffizi) houses one of the world’s most significant collections of art, drawing in more than a million annual visitors who wish to cast eyes upon its many masterpieces. Set in the heart of Florence, the museum contains the works of artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Botticelli, and Giotto, among others. It is the premier place to view Italian Renaissance art and is the most-visited museum in Italy.More
#6
Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale)

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The powerful Doges ruled the Venetian Empire from the Gothic fantasy palace that is Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale) until 1797. The site was one of the first things those arriving in Venice saw as their ships sailed through the lagoon and landed at St Mark's Square, and the doges ruled with an iron fist—justice was often meted out here. Today, the site is one of the most well-known attractions in Italy.More
#7
Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani)

Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani)

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Home to some of Italy’s most important artworks—from paintings and sculptures to tapestries and classical antiquities—the Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani) is one of the country’s top attractions. Explore the Pinacoteca, Egyptian Museum, Gallery of Tapestries, Pius-Clementine Museum, and Gallery of Maps, before admiring the crown jewels in the Sistine Chapel, famed for Michelangelo’s ceiling and The Last Judgment.More
#8
Da Vinci's Last Supper (Il Cenacolo)

Da Vinci's Last Supper (Il Cenacolo)

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Each day, Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper (Il Cenacolo) draws hundreds of art-loving visitors to the unassuming refectory of the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie for just 15 minutes with the painting. Arguably Milan's most famous 15th-century wall mural, you must book entrance tickets in advance or sign up for a guided Milan city tour to see it up close.More
#9
Milan Duomo

Milan Duomo

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The most exuberant example of Northern Gothic architecture in Italy, the spiky spires and towers of Milan's Duomo (Duomo di Milano) dominate Piazza del Duomo, the city's beating heart. One of the highlights of a visit to the cathedral is the view from the roof, where you can scope out Milan from the highest terrace surrounded by statues. On a clear day, it’s possible to see the Italian Alps.More
#10
Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina)

Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina)

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The Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sistina), part of Rome’s Vatican Museums, was decorated by art masters Sandro Botticelli and Pinturicchio in the 15th century before being completed with Michelangelo’s stunning 16th-century ceilings frescoes and monumental “The Last Judgement,” which covers the apse wall. The fresco-covered ceiling is the artist’s greatest work and one of the most important masterpieces in history, while the Sistine Chapel serves as a glorious homage to Renaissance art and one of the most visited sights in all of Italy.More
#11
Florence Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria dei Fiori)

Florence Duomo (Cattedrale di Santa Maria dei Fiori)

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No matter where you walk in Florence, chances are you will spot its famous Duomo—a defining element of the city’s history, geography, and identity—towering above. Beneath its red-tiled dome lies Florence’s largest church, officially known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria dei Fiori. Together with the Museum of the Duomo, an opera museum, the baptistery of San Giovanni, and Giotto's Bell Tower, the Duomo complex has become the city’s most famous landmark.More
#12
Vatican City (Citta del Vaticano)

Vatican City (Citta del Vaticano)

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Vatican City (Città del Vaticano) may be the smallest sovereign nation-state in the world, but it's a religious and cultural superpower. Home to some of the world’s greatest artistic and architectural marvels—namely St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Square, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Museums—it's located wholly within the confines of Rome, covers 110 acres (44 hectares), and has an official population of about 800.More
#13
Piazza della Signoria

Piazza della Signoria

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Home to the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria is the most important public square in Florence. The political heart of the city for centuries, today the square is also a vibrant social hub, where locals and tourists gather at the Loggia dei Lanzi and Neptune fountain to soak up the elegant atmosphere.More
#14
St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

St. Mark's Square (Piazza San Marco)

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St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco), often referred to as “the drawing room of Europe,” is one of the most famous squares in Italy. The geographic and cultural heart of Venice—with St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace at one end, the campanile in the center, and the colonnaded arcade topped by the Procuratie palaces lining three sides—this elegant piazza is also steeped in history. Settle in at one of the many coveted café tables and watch tourists (and pigeons) pose for photos while you sip a Bellini and soak in the square’s Renaissance splendor.More
#15
Maddalena Archipelago (Arcipelago della Maddalena)

Maddalena Archipelago (Arcipelago della Maddalena)

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For deserted lagoons, turquoise waves, and fabulous beaches, set sail for the Maddalena Archipelago (Arcipelago della Maddalena), just off the Costa Smeralda. The group of seven islands and dozens of islets between Sardinia and Corsica is a national park, with crystalline waters for diving and unspoiled coastlines.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Italy

Skip the Line: Colosseum Small Group Tour with Roman Forum & Palatine Hill
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Small-Group Tour of Colosseum Underground, Arena and Forum
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Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip from Florence Including Lunch
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Skip-the-Line Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel Group Tour
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Small-Group Wine Tasting Experience in the Tuscan Countryside
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Legendary Venice St. Mark's Basilica with Terrace Access & Doge's Palace
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Cinque Terre Day Trip with Transport from Florence
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Colosseum, Pantheon and Roman Forum Express: Small Group Tour Skip-the-Line Pass
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Small Group Pompeii and Amalfi Coast Guided Tour with Positano from Rome
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Skip the Line: Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill Tour
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Gladiator Gate and Arena Floor Special Access Colosseum Tour
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Recent reviews from experiences in Italy

star-5
Highly recommend!
Karen_H, May 2022
Tuscany Countryside Day Trip from Rome including 3-Course Lunch & Wine Tasting
Having spent the first part of our trip in the city, it was so nice to be out and able to see the beautiful countryside In Italy.
star-5
Great experience with great guide
Nihaal_K, May 2022
Lake Como Kayak Tour from Bellagio
The kayak tour is a fantastic way to see Como.
star-5
Do it!!!!!
Jordan_F, May 2022
Local Wine Tasting
He also spoke english very well.
star-5
Unforgettable Experience
Doris_P, May 2022
Rome by Golf Cart Private Tour
She drove expertly, spoke English flawlessly, and shared fascinating pieces of Roman history.
star-5
A Must Do in Rome!
Ursula_B, May 2022
Pasta & Tiramisu Lovers Workshop: a Must to Do in Rome
Their English was very good and everything was ready to go and the meal was fantastic.
star-5
Tuscany tour
Volha_D, May 2022
Tuscany Countryside Day Trip from Rome including 3-Course Lunch & Wine Tasting
Amazing house Anna really made this tour even better, she told us a lot of very interesting information, gave her recommendations on food and places to visit in Italy 🙂 The wine tasting and a lunch was good too
star-5
Don't miss beautiful Lake Como!
Rick_G, May 2022
Lake Como and Bellagio Day Trip from Milan
Well managed tour with a large group of English and Spanish speaking guests.
star-5
Beautiful Val d’Orcia
Stefanie_S, Apr 2022
Montalcino, Orcia Valley, Pienza, and Montepulciano: Wine- and Cheese-Tasting Guided Tour from Florence
Highly recommend this tour to see a beautiful part of Tuscany especially if you are not visiting Italy for long.
star-5
Amazing guide and best attraction in Florence
Quinn_P, Apr 2022
Skip-the-Line Florence Duomo with Brunelleschi's Dome Climb
Very good English, very helpful, kind, and knowledgeable
star-5
Loved it
Lesley_F, Apr 2022
Skip-the-Line Group Tour of the Vatican, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica
I have taken early retirement & wanted to mark it with something special & Italy was somewhere I have always wanted to visit & I wanted to treat my two boys & their partners to the experience.
star-5
Amazing Tour of Cinque Terre!
Glenn_A, Apr 2022
Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence with Optional Hiking
Cinque Terre is a beautiful place to visit and a must see when in Italy!
star-5
Awesome driver - made the experience so much more than just a ride!
Adena_W, Apr 2022
Transfer from Naples to Sorrento or Sorrento to Naples
He had lots of information for us about Italy and suggested great spots to see when we arrived.
star-5
Whistle stop tour of Tuscany
Debra_S, Apr 2022
Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip from Florence Including Lunch
A brilliant way to see the highlights of Tuscany .
star-5
Amazing Tour
Mariah_S, Apr 2022
Chianti and Castle Tour from Siena
This tour was a wonderful way to see the countryside and take in a different side of Italy!!
star-5
An amazing day - book it!
Susan_G, Apr 2022
Bologna Food Experience: Factory Visits with Gourmet Lunch and Wine Tasting
One of our favorite days in Italy – Alessandro and his team were amazing hosts and we got to see how our favorite foods are made up close.
star-5
Great day out
Jeremy_L, Apr 2022
Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Positano Guided Small-Group Day Trip from Rome
Great trip to see other parts of Italy from Rome .
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Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Positano
TERRY_F, Mar 2022
Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Positano Guided Small-Group Day Trip from Rome
Happy to see Italy open again!
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HIGHLY recommend!
Jamal_B, Mar 2022
Tuscany in One Day Sightseeing Tour from Florence
This tour gives you the chance to visit some of the outlying cities and experience a different part of Italy, smaller towns and beautiful countryside views.
star-5
Worth It!
Marc_H, Mar 2022
Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano Day Trip from Florence Including Lunch
Pisa was amazing to see in person.
star-5
Great Tour
Manuel_C, Mar 2022
Cinque Terre Day Trip from Florence with Optional Hiking
He also showed and explored areas of Cinque Terre we would have never known to see had we gone on our own.

All about Italy

When to visit

Italian summers are best spent at the beaches of Sardinia and Sicily, but festivals like La Tomatina, Rock in Roma, and the Palio horse races offer good reasons to head inland. The sun shines through fall, making it ideal for city sightseeing—or truffle hunting and wine tasting in Tuscany—while Venice’s legendary Carnival is worth braving the cold for.

Frequently Asked Questions